Insights from a MSc student - Tian Lan

Insights from a MSc student - Tian Lan


“Rotterdam is a modern city with diverse cultures. People are quite open and direct so you won’t feel alone.”



Tian Lan, 2014 graduate, MSc Entrepreneurship and New Business Venturing

Home city and country:  Nanjing, China

Why did you decide to do this MSc programme and why did you choose RSM?

“I wanted to meet people like myself who have an entrepreneurial mindset and expand my network. RSM is ranked high among the European universities and I felt that the MSc Entrepreneurship New Business Venturing offered by RSM is unique.”


What do you like the most about your programme and which have been your favourite courses so far?

“I would say my classmates; they are all interesting and fun people. The most interesting part of my study so far is the entrepreneurial theory in practice course. For the group assignment, we need to work in teams of four and choose an emerging industry, and then interview at least six entrepreneurs in this area to study what it takes to start and grow a business. It helped us become familiar with the entrepreneurship theory in real life situations by getting in touch with real entrepreneurs. We also acquired practical skills, such as interviewing, collecting secondary data and writing reports for non-academic audiences.”


What are your fellow students like?

“It’s a fun group with about 40 students and everyone knows each other on first name basis. There are lots of activities within the group and people are open-minded, best of all, they are all very entrepreneurial-oriented. The class is quite active. We have various guest lectures, which is a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and learn from them.”


What are the biggest differences between your master and your previous bachelor studies?

“The biggest difference would be the size of the study.  We had about 350 students for my bachelor; everyone has their own group and stick with it, so it’s almost impossible to get to know everyone. However, we only have about 40 students for my master, everyone knows each other and we do lots of fun activities together, such as paintball, rooftop BBQs or social drinks. We are classmates but also friends.”


What has been the biggest challenge in the MSc programme so far, and how are you dealing with it?

“The biggest challenge in the MSc programme so far is potential career opportunities. I’d like to gain some working experience before I start my own business, but normally companies only hire candidates with specific skills such as marketing or finance. However, there are more and more opportunities open as companies involved in entrepreneurship and management consulting are also becoming interested in entrepreneurship students.”


How are you experiencing life in Rotterdam?

“Rotterdam is a modern city with diverse cultures. People are quite open and direct so you won’t feel alone. I have made many true friends here. Café Stockholm in the Oude Haven is one of my favourite places in Rotterdam, it’s a very cozy and stylish place for hanging out with friends.”


What advice would you give to future MSc students?

“Be open-minded. You can really learn a lot from people who are different than you.”


What would you like to do after your MSc programme and what are your long-term plans?

“I’m open for any career opportunities after my master. Currently I’m developing my own online trading platform with two friends. We aim to launch the website later this year. I’d also like to work with start-up companies or big corporations in various industries to gain some corporate experience.”